FPA planning guideline 2008/1
An internal planning framework developed by the forest practices authority for the purposes of delivering management prescriptions through the threatened fauna adviser to avoid or limit the clearance and conversion of significant habitat for threatened forest fauna.
What is the planning guideline used for?
This document provides a planning framework to avoid or limit the clearance and conversion of significant habitat of threatened fauna habitat to non-native vegetation cover such as plantations, agriculture and infrastructure. The framework does not deal with the reservation of habitat, which is addressed through other statutory mechanisms.
Why do we need the planning guideline?
The management of threatened fauna species in Tasmania is covered by legislation and processes that recognise that a variety of mechanisms are needed to achieve ecologically sustainable forest management with respect to fauna species of high conservation significance. There are three primary elements to the current approach in Tasmania:
- the development of a Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative (CAR) reserve system that protects (through reservation) habitat for fauna of high conservation significance
- the maintenance of a permanent native forest estate to ensure that a forest resource base is maintained for all its various values, including fauna values
ecologically sustainable forest management practice under the Forest Practices Code that takes into account the requirements of current legislation, agreements, and recovery plan actions.
Applications to convert native vegetation to plantations and non-forest land use are processed by the FPA in accordance with the Tasmanian Government Policy for Maintaining a Permanent Native Forest Estate (February 2007) and the planning system under the Forest Practices Act 1985 which includes the Forest Practices Code and associated planning tools (e.g. Threatened Fauna Manual, Threatened Fauna Adviser (TFA) and Forest Botany Manuals). These planning tools have been developed to guide and facilitate decision-making at the operational or coupe level (e.g. area covered by a single Forest Practices Plan).
Some planning work has been conducted to develop decision-making tools for the landscape-level (i.e. multiple coupes), but these are few. Many of the prescriptions outlined in current operational planning tools are provided on the assumption that there will be successful native vegetation regeneration post-harvest and subsequent recovery of threatened species and their habitats.
This is not the case for forest practices plan applications that seek to make long term or permanent changes to threatened species habitat through conversion to non-native vegetation. The number of applications that seek to convert threatened species habitat has declined following the amendment of the Australian Forestry Standard in 2007, which now disallows the broadscale conversion of native forest. Conversion of native forest has now ceased on State forest but continues at a reduced level on private land. The Tasmanian Government's Policy on the Maintenance of the Permanent Forest Estate permits broadscale conversion to occur within specified thresholds until 2015.
A more strategic approach to the loss of threatened species habitat is required due to the cumulative impact of previous conversion and the rate of continuing conversion within the range of threatened fauna in Tasmania. This framework addresses this issue and will assist with the maintenance of significant habitat for threatened fauna.
Content last modified September 1, 2015, 8:49 am